Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Amid the clamor from outraged purists and Shakespeare spinning in his Stratford-on-Avon, England, grave, you should notice that Luhrmann and his two bright angels have shaken up a 400-year-old play without losing its touching, poetic innocence.
90
It may be the most visually imaginative Shakespeare film since Akira Kurosawa's "Ran", and certainly one of the more operatic Hollywood creations of recent years.
89
This Romeo & Juliet is a rich visual feast, besotted with the fervor of its acrobatic camerawork and kinetic staging and its mind-bending aggregation of unrelated but resonant fragments of 20th-century iconography.
75
While such a loud, brash interpretation may not go down in cinematic history as the definitive version of the play, hopefully it will open a few eyes and widen the audience willing to venture into any movie bearing the credit "based on the play by William Shakespeare."
75
The A.V. Club
For all the hubbub, the film succeeds in relating Shakespeare to modern times, thanks mainly to the use of energetic pop music and the gameness of the performers.
60
Mr. Luhrmann's frenetic hodgepodge actually amounts to a witty and sometimes successful experiment, an attempt to reinvent "Romeo and Juliet" in the hyperkinetic vocabulary of post-modern kitsch. This is headache Shakespeare, but there's method to its madness.
50
I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of "Romeo & Juliet" makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.
40
The movie, a frenetic, explosive experience full of car crashes and gun battles, is original and exhilarating. But more often, it's so overwhelming, it'll make you want to watch "Die Hard With a Vengeance" for peace and quiet.
30
Salon.com
It would be destined for the trash heap of Shakespeare adaptations, if not for its female lead, and its heart, 17-year-old Claire Danes.
0
The result is embarrassing: quick cuts and shaky, hand- held camera work, bad acting and lots of attitude.

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